By David Woolner

The Bad GDP Report Is A Warning Not To Create Another Roosevelt Recession

January 31, 2013 6:31 pm Category: Memo Pad 81 Comments A+ / A-
The Bad GDP Report Is A Warning Not To Create Another Roosevelt Recession

President Obama should begin his second term much like the first and demand stimulus to bolster a sagging economy.

The only real capital of a nation is its natural resources and its human beings. So long as we take care of and make the most of both of them, we shall survive as a strong nation, a successful nation and a progressive nation—whether or not the bookkeepers say other kinds of budgets are from time to time out of balance.

This capital structure—natural resources and human beings—has to be maintained at all times. The plant has to be kept up and new capital put in year by year to meet increasing needs. If we skimp on that capital, if we exhaust our natural resources and weaken the capacity of our human beings, then we shall go the way of all weak nations. —Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1938

In a somewhat surprising announcement, the Commerce Department noted yesterday that the U.S. economy actually shrank in the fourth quarter of last year, contracting by 0.1 percent. This sharp decline from the 3.1 percent growth rate posted in the previous quarter has not as yet lead to widespread fears that the United States is about to enter another recession, but given that much of the cause of the decline can be attributed to cuts in government spending, some economists worry that this news is but a harbinger of things to come. We are, after all, facing another government-manufactured showdown on March 1, as well as a possible government shutdown near the end of March when the stopgap measure financing the federal government expires. Then there is the expected fight over raising the federal debt ceiling, which could lead the U.S. to default on its debts.

Most economists agree that the uncertainty brought about by the dysfunctional nature of Washington is having a negative effect on the economy. But we hear little about the direct effects that cuts in government spending have had on job growth. How many Americans, for example, are aware that one of the primary drivers of our persistently high unemployment rate is the sharp decline in public sector employment—the massive layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public sector employees over the past two years? We might also ask how many Americans recognize that one of the primary ways President Obama managed to stop the downward economic spiral at the start of his first term was through the funding of public sector jobs via the stimulus funds that were channeled to state and local governments. Indeed, it was the expiration of that federal support, and Congress’s refusal to support the president’s modest request for additional federal dollars to support state and local governments in his jobs bill, that initiated the recent public sector decline.

Now at the start of President Obama’s second term, with the U.S. economy still in a very fragile state, we are reminded once again of the direct link between government spending and jobs. For it was the deep cuts in federal defense spending that helped push the economy into negative territory in the past quarter.

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The Bad GDP Report Is A Warning Not To Create Another Roosevelt Recession Reviewed by on . President Obama should begin his second term much like the first and demand stimulus to bolster a sagging economy. The only real capital of a nation is its natu President Obama should begin his second term much like the first and demand stimulus to bolster a sagging economy. The only real capital of a nation is its natu Rating:

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  • nobsartist

    All it will take to solve our problems is medicare and social security tax on ALL earnings, investment and income and a little forceful leadership from our newly re-elected President unless he is actually a “plant” and intends to increase the wealth of the rich at our expense.

    Sort of like he has done the last 4 years.

    • mah101

      Yes, it seems that a small change in the structure of SS and medicare funding, and taxes on capital gains could solve many problems.

      Yet all we hear offered from the right is tax cuts – precisely the wrong thing to do in the current economic situation.

      I am beginning to think that the GOP is much like the old snake oil salesmen. They only have one product and it cures ALL problems. Cut taxes. Go to war, cut taxes. Economic decline, cut taxes. Loss of revenue, cut taxes. But not on everyone, just focus on the “job creators” who are defined solely by their financial wealth rather than on their actual creation of economic activity.

      • nobsartist

        And the elected “Democrats” are all chumps, duped by the snake oil salesman.

        If you wonder why nothing changes even though things are still getting worse, perhaps you should look at all of the “Democrats” that have teamed up with republiCONs in the past. ALL that supported any bush policies should be replaced.

        Too bad no “Democrats” complained when raygun created “for profit” health care in 1982.

        It is quite evident that both parties are the same.

      • idamag

        And when they cut Medicare and SS, where do you think the people will go when sick? Who do you think will pay for it?

    • lana ward

      The mandate at the heart of Obamas’ healthcare law is actually a tax on the middle class. His promise not to tax the middle class was a deception at the very heart of his healthcare law. Obamas’ $264 billion tax tsunami will hit this year. Dr. shortages will begin.–Those making $30,000 a year will pay more in taxes than those making $500,000 because of the deal O pushed for after the fiscal cliff debacle. O promised only 2% would see a tax hike, instead 77.1% are seeing higher taxes!!!–And the dems want to find $1 TRILLION more in taxes this year!!! O has a war going on against the middle class

      • nobsartist

        All Obama did was guarantee that all Americans would be forced to join rayguns failed health care system that HE created in 1982.

        I find it funny that “fiscally responsible conservatives” hate Obama so much when in reality, he is the only one able to make republiCON polioy law.

        • lana ward

          If it makes you feel better

        • idamag

          I wouldn’t even bother responding to the former welfare queen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    Investment is the key to sustainable growth and low unemployment. Since the private sector remains reluctant to invest, in part because of a greater return on investment overseas and, also, because of concerns influenced by perceived low consumer confidence, the only recourse left to stimulate the economy is public sector investment. We must also raise the Social Security contribution cap to a realistic level, eliminate MEDICARE waste and fraud, close obsolete military bases, suspend foreign aid with the exception of humanitarian aid, and get out of Afghanistan ASAP to reduce spending.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

      You Are Right As Always My Friend And Obama Is A Great President, Cause He Is Listening To And Care About ALL The American People And Wants To Do What Is Good For This Country!!! If This No Good Do Nothing Congress Would Let Him Obama Would Be One Of Our Greatest President That Ever Served!!! Plus I Do Believe The Only Reason He Let These Wars Go On For So Long Is Cause He Seen What The War Mongers Will Do If You Come Between Their Wars And Their Money!! JFK Got Killed Doing Just That!!!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/KV2YCNDU755CHTULDVEIFTW7GE steven c

        Spoken like a true drone of the people. Obama is a magicians act. He makes you watch something else while makes your money disappear. The only difference is the magician gives the money back.

        • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

          Spoken Like A Whining Tantrum Throwing TROLL!!! You Don’t Like It MOVE!!!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

          Yeah, we’re watching our money disappear as Obama has cut Bush’s 1.6 trillion in deficit spending to 1.1 trillion in 3 years (1/2 trillion/yr cut in spending) at the fastest rate of cuts in spending since WWII. And he’s cut spending for 3 years – 1st time since Truman did that just after WWII. Sorry troll, but it was Reagan and the two Bushes that spent us into oblivian. led by Reagan with his 8.7% budget increases every year of his disasterous 8 years in office – requiring the debt ceiling to be raised 18 times!!! And then followed by Bush Jr. with 8.3% budget increases/year. Now there’s where taxpayers saw their money flying out the door with almost absolutely nothing worthwhile to show for it: two unnecessary wars; to unwise/stupid tax cuts for the wealthy; a drug benefit giveaway to the drug industry and countless unpaid for mandates to the states. Wake up clueless!!!!

          • idamag

            And that war, based on lies, is going to be paid off for generations.

        • RobertCHastings

          You are the one that is the drone, and I suggest you look up that term in the dictionary, as I sincerely believe that you have no idea what one is.

    • idamag

      Dominick, you are right. Since the private sector does not invest in America, then the government needs to.

      • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

        Seem Like The Private Sector Is Doing The Money Hoarding!! And Not Paying What Ever Workers They Do Have Not Enough Money To Live On!!

        • idamag

          Fern, you got it. Greed is listed as one of the seven deadly sins. There have always been greedy people, but they weren’t always allowed to own the government. If you want to hear about the lowest of the low: Idaho State Senator Sheryl Nuxell said that the government is making the insurance companies like Holocaust victims. Having read scores of books about the holocaust, this is one of the most disrespectful statements ever made. We have areas where their family trees don’t have branches on them and she was sent from one of those areas.

    • sigrid28

      Here’s what drives me crazy about the failure of the private sector to invest. First, these fabulously rich CEOs are paying the employees far less than a living wage and hoarding their enormous profits for fear of providing adequate health insurance benefits. Second, they plow huge amounts of corporate profits and personal wealth into Republican candidates, thanks to the Citizens United ruling, into support for Republicans who are intent on obstruction when it comes to stimulus spending and eager to plunge the U.S. into the same kind of recession plaguing Europe because of austerity measures. Third, the gridlock created by candidates corporate money and personal wealth has created causes economic instability, which the private sector claims makes them afraid to invest. Fourth, if the president’s American Jobs Act could just pass, even these wealthy individuals and corporations would benefit. Just think of how our economy would surge ahead, if the jobs act passed and if minimum wage were to be raised just one penny a month until it reached a living wage for each American? Again, these wealthy individuals and corporations also benefit. The shibboleth of Deficit Reduction has been a trick on the poor and the wealthy alike.

      • RobertCHastings

        Corporations are controlling $16T, waiting for the security of an end to the current Congressional hassles over taxation and spending and the debt ceiling. Where did all this money come from, and why are they refusing to invest it in this country’s future? We have heard for more than the past year that business is leary of investing because of the uncertainty. B.S.! There is more to this than meets the eye, and I would say it is more of a sword being held over all of our heads. FDR battled his own “class”, and managed to convert the Democratic Party into the Populist party it is today, by spending beyond what was currently in the treasury, what came to be known as deficit spending, without which we would STILL be in the Great Depression, if, indeed, we were still the good ole U S of A.

        • sigrid28

          This 16T is exactly what I am talking about. They do not spend because they do not–immediately–wish to improve the economy for all, not because they are afraid of a deficit, which I think they know is just an excuse for destroying entitlements. At the basis, it seems mean tempered and in the end it may be self-destructive.

          • idamag

            Remember the story in the Bible where God sent manna from heaven to the starving people and told them to only take what was necessary? Some of them got greedy and their manna spoiled. Corporations have gotten greedy and shipped jobs overseas so they could pay 83 cents an hour. What they don’t know is that they also sent their consumers away. People, in India or Sri Lanka, are not buying in the United States. They are not paying taxes, here, either.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/KV2YCNDU755CHTULDVEIFTW7GE steven c

        You want fair and impartial rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court then you have to take away lifetime appointments, or take away their political affiliation upon appointment. No political affiliation, no politics in the law. My belief is these judges, and all politicians, should have an expiration date.

        • idamag

          I agree with you on the Supreme court.

        • sigrid28

          Agreed. We all have to change.

      • idamag

        And if the minimum wage doesn’t allow the greedy corporations to pay their help 83 cents an hour, they ship the jobs overseas.

    • nobsartist

      This is why all future innovation will come out of China. The Chinese government invests in jobs and technology while all the American government can do is beg from corporations and give away trillions in taxpayer paid for foreign aid.

      Our government invests in everyone but the American people.

      Look how long it took for the hurricane aid bill to get passed and it even isnt implemented yet.

      Disgusting.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/KV2YCNDU755CHTULDVEIFTW7GE steven c

      We cannot afford to borrow another trillion dollars for stimulus projects that have failed. Where did all the money go?lot of it went to places like China for investments in windfarm projects that created no AMERICAN jobs. The tax base on corporations is too high for them to make the kind of money they want to make. The government should offer delayed tax benifits to corporations if they can prove they have created a specific amount of viable, substanable jobs in the United States. Cut taxes on corporations if they can provide substancial jobs for this economy. Another thing the U.S. government needs to do is end the NAFTA deal. Clinton had a good idea to expand American goods and services into Canada and Mexico, however he could not foresee that Canada and Mexico would not import as many American made goods as we did from those countries. Corporations like GM and Ford found out in the Eighties that they could build an entire car in Mexico for about a tenth of the price that they could in Detroit. So they started manufacturing cars and parts in Mexico instead of the U.S. The governemnt should have imposed impossible tariffs on these corporations to import these manufactured goods to the U.S. Instead they just let Reagan bust all the unions and the corporations got to do what they want. You want private sector investment in the economy you will have to pay for it because they have the upper hand in this situation. You want American manufacturing to make a comeback, start buying American even if it costs more. Stop shopping ar Walmart and put an end to oversees buying. When Sam Walton was alive and ran the company Walmart bought a lot of U.S. manufactured goods. When he died the corporate mentality took over and they bought the cheapest products they could buy. Now thats all they buy. You want corporate America to invest in U.S. manufacturing again you have to do two things; offer an incetive to buy U.S. manufactured goods again, and impose high tariffs on manufactured goods made by American companies in foriegn countries.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

        Sorry Steven but stimulous projects have not failed: in a study more than 90% of monies spent on stimulus produced the desired affect. Even in the green job sector. Of the 90 billion allocated for green jobs in TARP, only 26 billion was every allocated and of that 87% have produced successful thriving companies: just ask those building wind turbines in Iowa. And where did it go? Much of it went to creating millions of jobs – actually well over a million more jobs in 4 years than Bush’s administration created in 8 years. The reason you’re not seeing the significant net job growth you would expect, is because of guys like Romney in the corporate pirating business that were doing leverage buyouts on onwanting companies, stripping them of their assests and shipping the jobs all over the world. An example was Romney and his cohorts buying up Delphi that made the majority of the auto industries small parts. It was foundering during the auto bailout process, so Romney and his cohorts did an unwanted leverage buyout and destroyed the company in America, shipping all its 25,000 jobs to China, pocketing all its assets and pension monies leaving 25,000 Americans unemployed and thousands without adequate pension monies or no pension monies. So if you buy an American made car today which has small parts from Mexico or China, or who knows where else, that don’t stand up – it’s Romney and other corporate pirate companies you can thank. And what’s interesting, is that as Romney was campaigning for president tauting his fake tax cut and job creation plans (both which were proved to be bogus); he was still working with his cohorts to buy and strip companies of their monies and ship jobs overseas – as late as one week before the election. And as you point out, Walmart is a company that really has no record for its responsiblity to America; despite the fact that Sam’s heirs have more wealth than the bottom 100 million Americans combined. And people need to start realizing, that despite its propaganda, on thousands of products, Walmart is not the cheapest place to buy things inspite of the fact that Walmart generally has the most limited selection of brands within any product line of any retailer – as you alluded, Walmart only features products it can buy dirt cheap itself.

        • sigrid28

          It has been pointed out on many comment threads herein, that Walmart actually helps its underpaid employees apply for government benefits. I think that says it all.

      • idamag

        Since unemployment went from 9.3 percent, under Bush, to 7.3 percent at present, I would not say the stimulus was a failed project. It worked and we need to get the other stimulus packages off the table to rebuild the economy. Most of the money is for jobs created to rebuild the infrastructure. 43 percent of our bridges have been deemed unsafe. You might think of the bridge in Minnesota, every time you cross a bridge.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.beck.9659 Jerry Beck

      As always agree with all most everything,except getting out of Afghanistan asap. As soon as we do,thousands of those guys will be hitting the streets job hunting,as we won’t need that many people under arms. Lets phase them out as planned as they get the job done there. That will hopefully give the economy time to get going,if congress would do the job they where elected to do.

      • sigrid28

        If the American Jobs Act could just be passed, these 66,000 veterans (some of whom may remain in the military here and elsewhere) would be a drop in the bucket with 2,000,000 jobs to fill, for many of which these vets would be ideally qualified. I’d rather support members of the military retraining than holding place in harm’s way in Afghanistan.

    • RobertCHastings

      Your points for the path to recovery look quite similar to what both Obama and FDR have pursued. I do have one question, however, and that is where is there a greater return overseas, since Japan is sliding back into stagnation and the Eurozone is battling a return to recession. China is off and on, with statements about GDP, etc. seeming to vary from one month to the next. Africa is, in some areas, showing growth but the political instability in almost every region of the continent makes it a risky investment at best. The Pacific Rim is slowly being inundated by an approaching ecological disaster of literally Biblical proportions. A smart investor(he would have to be somewhat unscrupulous) MIGHT think about investing in piracy in the Indian Ocean, but even that industry is taking it on the chin. There are some enterprising chaps around Greenland who are harvesting the fresh water as chunks calve off the glaciers. All in all, tongue in cheek, it still looks like the US is a strong bet for foreign investment.
      The infrastructure investment you recommend is, confusingly, a nonstarter for the Republicans. I guess they don’t want to give the appearance of seeing anything our competitors are doing as a wise choice. I live just a few miles from one of the finest investments in infrastructure this country made during the FDR years – The Blue Ridge Parkway. Most people in this country live near another infrastructure investment that has helped virtually everyone in the US, the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, which, incidentally, is, in many places, in dire need of repair and upgrading. Pretty much everyone lives near to a bridge or viaduct that has been deemed dangerous by their state department of transportation, and many of us have experienced the inconvenience of having to find a way around a construction sight where such bridges are being repaired. We should all remember the collapse of the bridge on the interstate highway going through Minneapolis, and the story of how old it was, how frequently inspected, and how bridges around the country of similar construction were also in danger of a similar demise. The other issue deterring the right from pursuing upgrades to our infrastructure would be that it would look like another stimulus. DUH! I guess that is because it IS a stimulus, a badly needed one. The recent downturn in the GDP has been identified as evolving from one source and one source only, and that is the dearth of investment of federal money into the economy. As you so clearly indicate, when the private sector refuses to invest, the federal government MUST step in to provide jobs.
      As a former teacher, it disturbs me to see the path public instruction is taking today, as well as the willingness of those on the right to divert monies from public schools into vouchers for charter schools – basically another way to deny a good education to those who cannot afford private schools (even WITH vouchers). I hear too many stories of teachers being required to teach to the end-of-term tests, rather than teaching the basics. I can understand the need to teach students how to take tests; but I do not understand using the tests as the basis for a curriculum. I do not understand the drive to eliminate “extras” like orchestra, chorus, band, foreign languages, etc. All of these subjects are not only vital to the development of the individual, but without them our students will remain behind other nations, in preparedness for higher education, and in preparedness for life. A free education is one of the basic promises of the American Dream, a dream that, under Republican leadership, is becoming a nightmare.

  • montanabill

    So, overspending to the tune of $1T a year and $6T over 4 years is not stimulus enough. And the solution is to spend more money we don’t have? How thoughtful.

    Maybe if we simply taxed everyone 100% and let the benevolent, all wise government decide the best way to spend and distribute the money, everything would be perfect and the economy would come roaring back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

      We did not “overspend”, we are paying for the irresponsible policies and decisions made in years past, and the resulting obligations we incurred. Decades of almost uninterrupted deficits spending, borrowing, and accumulation of debt now preclude us from investing in the things we need to achieve sustainable growth. Our problem is not that we are investing too much, but that we cannot invest because we squandered our fortune paying for crusades with borrowed money, because we insist on having the largest and most powerful Armed Forces in the world to fight pathetic thugs planting IEDs and firing AK47s from the beds of TOYOTA pickup trucks, because we continue to insist on subsidies to the oil industry, pharmaceuticals and the insurance industry, because we continue to insist on billions of dollars in foreign aid to Israel, and one billion a year to Egypt on condition that they leave Israel alone, and because we refuse to pay for the things we need and benefit from. Nobody is calling for astronomical taxation like the rates that were in place many decades ago when the wealthy had an effective tax rate of 92% or 52%. The problem is that the ridiculously low tax rate we now have is insufficient to cover outlaws and the only recourse left is to continue to borrow and accumulate debt.
      Needless to say, we could also throw Grandma under the bus and resort to death panels as a potential solution to ensure the wealthy continue to accumulate wealth.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

        Love it!! Great assessment!! Bill’s just being his old shortsighted self again – can’t see the forest for the trees. Can’t see that Reagan and the two Bushes spend like drunken sailors and ran up more than 90% of our debt with mostle expenditures that didn’t do a thing to help the country – like what should have been two totally unwarranted wars if Bush and Cheney hadn’t ignored 7 CIA warnings; like two unwarranted/unwise/unnecessary tax cuts that basically did nothing but stuff more money into the pockets of the rich (the economy and job growth during Bush’s disasterous 8 years were the most abysmyl since the Big Depression0 and putting drug benefit giveaways to the drug industry in the guise of a Medicare Benefit program without paying for it and as you mentioned on and on. Bill would like to see America do just like the Europeans – dive into a double-dip recession by instituting the most nonsense policy of austery. What garbage!!!!

        • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

          Trolls Will Be Trolls As Always!!!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

        Some people think that spending is only O.K. when republicans do it. Mitch McConnell was recently implicated in slipping a loophole into the recent deal to avoid the fiscal cliff to benefit the bio-tech company Amgen.This would have the effect of allowing Amgen to recoup the criminal and civil fines they are forced to pay for thier fraud conviction in court late last year and the tax payer would have the burden of paying for it.That’s the kind of action that a $79K campaign contribution to Mitch will get you. Too many corporations and politicians think that America exists solely for thier benefit.There was a time in our country when politicians and corporatists feared the ire and rage of the people because they knew that the citizens would burn thier houses as well as the capitol buildings if they failed to do the peoples will.I think it is fast approaching the time to give them a reminder that we the people reject plutocracy and fascism in all forms and are willing and able to kick ass to prove it. People with montana bills attitude who hated F.D.R.’s New Deal so much,formed a conspiracy to overthrow our government and replace it with a fascist regime.Well it looks like its time to clean house again and we don’t need to ask permission to do it or to do those thing that make us,”WE THE PEOPLE” and “OUR NATION” strong again.

      • montanabill

        That is a nice narrative, but a little short on reality. It is true that we have had decades of spending deficits, but this President, who originally vowed to cut the deficit spending in half, wound up doubling it! You realize that we are spending more money on the 83 welfare programs than on defense, including the wars. Even more if you count the abuse of SSI and SSDI. I know liberal dogma claims things like Head Start are not welfare programs, but they are.

        Subsidies are not money paid to private business. They are tax credits. A simple way of saying they get to keep more of the money they made. Your view simply implies that all earnings belong to government and that only government should decide how much they get to keep.

        It was a bunch of those ‘pathetic thugs’ that brought down the World Trade Centers, attacked our Navy and regularly attack merchant ships, kidnap tourists, have taken over complete governments in the middle east and have fully stated they want to attack us anywhere and everywhere they can. We have a resurgent Russian belligerence under Putin, a nuclear armed North Korea testing ICBM’s, an Iran working feverishly to produce a nuclear weapon and delivery capability, a China rapidly building their navy and the rest of their military capability. Do I want the best military in the world? You bet! Our government is required to provide defense. That was a key concern of the founders. They did not envision a government nanny state such as we have now nor did they want it and specifically warned against it.

        I don’t like foreign aid either. But for some reason, every president has approved it. Maybe they have more information than we do.

        Knock of the crap about tax rates. It is totally misleading and a guy as smart as you are, knows it. Our country is financially in trouble, not because of the tax rates, but because of the government’s interference with the business engine that drives prosperity and with it, increased revenue to the government, and because our government under Democrats or Republicans spends too much on vote buying projects and questionable ‘help’. There are people who legitimately need help, but simply the shear number now getting largess must alarm you. We are no different than wild animals. If we feed them, they become dependent and lose their ability to fend for themselves. We have done that to our country.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

          Vowed to cut spending in half and ended up doubling it??? I guess Fern is right, you’re nothing but a troll – you don’t have enough smarts to run an outhouse. I know full well that I’ve corrected you on this a couple times before, Obama inherited a budget from Bush with 1.6 trillion in deficit spending and in 3 years reduced that to 1.1 trillion – cut 1/2 a trillion/yr in spending in 3 years. You’re comment is therefore unadulterated horse manure…just like the remainer of your nonsense post – not even worth reading when it’s filled with nothing more than one lie and distortion after another just like the normal GOP hypocrite.

          • montanabill

            “On his thirty-fifth day in office, President Obama announced his intention to cut the massive federal budget deficit in half by the end of his four-year term.”…CBS News.

            Reducing the deficit by 50 percent by the end of his first term would have brought the fiscal 2012 deficit to $593 billion. Instead, the CBO reported that it was $1.090 trillion, or 8 percent less than the one he inherited. The Obama administration ran deficits of over $1 trillion for each of his years in office, for a total of about $5.1 trillion.

            There are some real facts out there which overcome simple name calling.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

            Yup! And that was before it became clear that the GOP was going to do everything in it’s power to disrupt Obama from reving up the economy to do that; and they have by sitting on his jobs bill for the past 2 years. Get a life; you’re bringing up stuff that any moron would see is why Obama hasn’t been able to fulfill all his promises. But a separate study showed that he’s fully kept over 250 of 500 promises he made, and partially accomplished more than 125. Find me a president that has ever come close to accomplishing that aside from Obama.

          • montanabill

            Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ‘Jobs Bill’? Pork package.

    • idamag

      Montana Bill, I hope there is a sign on your business, and in the telephone directory, “Republicans Only.”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

      montanabill, you’re damned right. The country is hurting and as Americans we ALL need to kick in to bring her back to health. IF billionaires and millionaires are Americans, they have an obligation to pay their taxes just like everyone else. They are no different than you. me. or anyone else. It doesn’t bother me about paying taxes in my earning, bank account, investments, or on purchases. I care about our country and our countrymen. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. Why not pull together and help America? In turn, we would be helping ourselves and the future of our children and grandchildren. If? you’re a businessman, you should understand that more than anyone. If you don’t like where your taxes are going and how it is being spent, why don’t you stop paying taxes? If I don’t like your service and find it distasteful, I would refrain from doing business with your company again and take my business else where. Why not just stop paying your taxes, stop deducting taxes from your employees’ wages, and form a protest. Exercise your democracy, brother, and be active instead of running your mouth or using these posts as drive-by blogs.

      • montanabill

        Robert, look at the real numbers. We are paying taxes. A hell of a lot of taxes. I am one those demonized 1%. In fact, one of the 0.1%. I paid 40% of my earnings last year to taxes and this year I will pay 50%. That amounts to millions of dollars. That 10% difference is combination of increased Federal income tax, increased Medicare and increased state taxes. It means I will have less money than I usually have to grow my businesses and hire people, which I have been doing since the 1970’s. Which do you really think is more beneficial? Me hiring people for good wages and benefits, or government deciding where to spend it? Part of my tax money might have gone to pay for tank for Egypt.

        The key to a strong America is a strong work force creating products and services. People with good jobs. Is anything the government doing going to create those kinds of jobs? From my perspective, I certainly don’t see it.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

          Jobs Bill, montana. Jobs Bill. Let’s push them to get it done. It gives incentives to businesses like yours and mine to hire more emplouees. I stopped hiring to keep the employees I have in the green. I hire extra help on a part-time basis for larer contracts, but I let them know its temporary. They are appreciative just to be working. I keep their infomation just in case by some grace of God, the Republican/Tea Bags sign the Jobs Bill so that I can get the incentives to hire more permanently. I see the glass as half full, not half empty. Wealth without compassion is spiritual poverty, brother.

          • montanabill

            Push for them to do what? Pass the Jobs Bill? Read up on the allocations in that bill. Only a small percentage goes to rebuilding the infrastructure. Those would be short term jobs, at best. Giving me a $2000-$3000 tax credit for every job I create doesn’t even begin to pay for the screening process. I create jobs to create products. It takes money to develop and market products. Money now going to the government. No development money, no new jobs. It is that simple.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    How does FDR get the blame for the Great Depression? Sorry, anyone who has been born of Depression Era parents NEVER blamed FDR much to the utter disgust of the Republicans under Hoover who saw Hoover’s glib attitude and cronyism of Wall Street as the cause of the Crash of 1929. Overspeculation, lack of banking reserves and a host of other issues the GOP still refuses to own today were the cause of the Crash of 1929.

    The GDP report is as it should be. What we have hear is failure of Big Business to stop eroding our tax revenues by demanding tax subsidies they do not need. They show record profits in the midst of a Great Recession and House Majority GOP hands them $150 billion in tax subsidies in 2012?

    Investment always involves risk. What we have today isn’t “risk.” It’s refined gambling, at best. Money on paper changes hands as if it was backed by Fort Knox. The SEC is unwilling to rein in Madoffers and this is the reason Wall Street today isn’t the shining example of sound investment.

    Where ever these junior geniuses got the idea that flying just below the legal radar with their high risk games, they’ve proven they are not reputable, trusted or remotely reliable.

    • mah101

      Eleanore, FDR briefly reversed his policies at the beginning of his second term in response to conservative fears of overspending – it is a situation very analogous to the one we find ourselves in today. The response to his new policies was disastrous. Where the economy had been in a recovery during the previous few years, after adopting a more conservative approach unemployment went back up and economic growth disappeared.

      While FDR quickly reversed his approach, he lost support in congress and could no longer be as bold as he was in his first term, economic recovery was severely damaged, and it was only WWII and the stimulus of massive government spending that was involved in the war effort that finally pulled the US economy out of the depression.

      I agree with you on the rest of your post. We need to reform our tax and regulatory structure to favor a balanced economy that promotes growth for all, not just the few who have the means to scam the system.

      And I hope we don’t have to wait for WWIII to solve this economic problem…

    • idamag

      Porkers is right. The reddest state that takes the most in welfare and pays the least is Mississippi. They have already been judged the state with the fattest people.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The reality is that a handful of blue states can no longer afford to support the Porkers of the red states. All any American needs to do is to take a look at the ROI these red states get in return for the $1 they pay in federal taxes. This dumps the burden on other states. These Porker states do not rely heavily on state taxes when they know their porker politicians will see to it they get more than their fair share of federal dole outs.

    There is one more thing some Americans just don’t get. Prices on goods and services are out of control. Yet, you have loonies gouging prices as if there is absolutely NO limit to how high their prices can go. Oh no? When you bankrupt Middle Class consumers, they learn very clearly what the difference is between what they need and what they want. No one ever blames those who jack the prices and by association the cost of living for those beneath the 1% wealthiest. So let them keep jacking prices. More of them will go out of business because consumers know their limit. High-riding CEOs out for limitless billions never do. They need a refresher course in what happened to the Robber Barons of the 1900’s. They didn’t take their wealth with them on their way out. Neither will today’s Madoffers.,

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KOPKDFAUQPIIRAFI3HEXNMSHLQ Ed

    The Republicans are well aware of how FDR became a hero to millions through government spending which kept the economy afloaT. tHEY HAVE no INTENTION TO ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN AGAIN. tHEY HAVE WORKED FOR 40 YEARS TO TURN THIS COUNTRY OVER TO THE CORPORATIONS AND SCREW THE AVERAGE JOE. tHEY WON’T STOP NOW.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

      And That’s The Very Reason Why people Like Cockroaches Better Than This Congress!! They Will Have A Hard Time Getting In The White House For Years To Come!! Cause They Have Learned NOTHING Since This Last Election And They Are Not Listening To The Majority Of The American People!!

      • idamag

        Fern, I certainly hope you are right. I guess I am cynical. I think the backwoods (where family trees don’t branch) will continue to send nitwits to congress.

        Dear, God, for the sake of our country, please let Fern be right.

  • Lovefacts

    It’s proof that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

    In order to better recover, I say we treat the red states just as they’ve treated NY, NJ, & Conn post Sandy. No more funding for squat.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Sounds good to me. Virutaully none of the red states complained when congress voted more than 60 billion to repair the damage to the Gulf Coast cities after Katrina..and they did that in less than two weeks after it happened. While for the Northeast they dragged their feet for over 3 months.

  • ajghbg

    Why are economist ignoring the effects of Sandy on the last quarter of 2012 GDP. Again I am tired of the lack of reporting the total picture and it seems all media report what Wall Street wants reported and ignore what Wall Street does not want included.

    An event as catastrophic as Sandy effecting millions of people around Christmas time must have a significant effect on the GDP. Not only negative effects in the fourth quarter but what about the effect of the money spent from the 50 billion on recovery will have on the second quarter GDP. The Republicans made sure it does not effect the 1st quarter. Why is this ignored and certainly FDR experience has no parallel to this situation. Hopefully world war will not become part of recovery.

    A friend of mine living in Asheville NC sent me an article critical of the people along the Northeast Coast for all things not being prepared. How does anyone prepare for their house to be washed away.
    I am sure the same paper did not feel the same about Katrina and all the other weather related catastrophic weather events happening in South almost routinely. Again these Rebels are still fighting the Civil War. I have seen billions of federal highway dollars spent for Rt 26.

    • idamag

      It is the old “blame the victim” game. They used to blame girls for being raped.

      • mah101

        Used to? Have you been listening to the republican right lately? Seems they still do.

  • elw

    People so overreact to everything these days. Relax, it was such a small drop in GDP most likely related to a temporary drop in spending somewhere within the many industries that contribute to the GDP or information not yet collected. The sky is not falling and do not be suprised if the figure gets revised – they do that all the time. You always have to remember that our 24/7 news programs need things to talk about.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      And remember, and they said it was a preliminary GDP number that may well be revised when all the numbers are in by 2/28.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_REQQEMPOQISA3W6B42SHFMKTEM Andrew

    While it’s true that FDR got a little queasy about deficit-spending and started that austerity program in 1937 that cost the Democrats many seats in the 1938 midterms, you also have to remember that FDR had supermajorities in both Houses of Congress (75% Demo seats in the House and just 16 GOP Senators) as a result of the 1936 general elections. While President Obama wants to implement FDR-style stimulus measures, he doesn’t have the Congressional “backup” that FDR did. That simple fact is what makes comparisons of the President and FDR slightly unrealistic. Don’t get me wrong: the GOP HATED FDR with a passion…they even tried to launch an armed overthrow of him in 1937 (the GOP tried to get Gen. Smedley Butler to lead this coup, but Butler knew about the GOP’s greedy and fascist agenda and was a true patriot in rebuffing them)!

    If 30 million GOP moderates take Samuel L. Jackson’s advice from a YouTube video last year (wake the F*CK up!) and vote for Democrats in the 2014 midterms, President Obama has a real chance to have the same advantages that FDR did during the New Deal.

    The real problem here isn’t “spending” (the GOP’s definition of it, which doesn’t include wars or money spent on defense/military budgets), it’s taxation. The “fiscal cliff” nonsense addressed only one part of the taxation problem: tax rates of the wealthy. It left alone the tax rates of big corporations and the thousands of loopholes the Bush 43 tax cuts allow the wealthy and big corporations to avoid paying taxes, especially through “offshoring”. If the tax rates on big corporations were set back to the pre-Bush 43 levels and all of the loopholes that rich people and big corporations use to avoid paying taxes were CLOSED, no spending cuts would be needed…NONE…and, the beauty part is that a SURPLUS would be created! A little more than $200 billion for fiscal year 2014!

    But, as we all sadly know, the GOP are all about their Reverse Robin Hood fiscal policies, which can be summed up in one statement: “screw the poor and middle class…the rich and big corporations need more wealth”! Sorry, GOP politicians and supporters: that’s what the GOP thinks. They have 9 Tenets that they practice every day: bigotry, hypocrisy, elitism, fascism, greed, corruption, incompetence, arrogance and insanity. At least one of those (usually more) are behind everything they do. If GOP moderates keep on voting for the GOP, we’re going to continue to get the Conservative and Tea Party Militia politicians that you see in DC and state legislatures/ Governor’s offices. There are no more Eisenhower Republicans, GOP ladies and germs…The Democrats are now the GOP moderates and the GOP Cons and Baggers have went WRONG and FAR WRONG, leaving behind all semblance of sanity, reason, logic and common sense…

    • sigrid28

      This about says it all, in my opinion. I would add only two things. First, to your list of nine tenets I would add a tenth, misogyny. To your list of tax evasions for the wealthy I would add dropping income tax in some states and going exclusively to sales taxes to support the state, which affects the poor and middle class much more than it does the rich. A twin trend, supported by ALEC is legislation in the same states, cuts state and federal spending to support the safety net. This combination is simply diabolical.

  • jstsyn

    We can just about count on whatever Congress does will only make things worse. They haven’t proven much yet except more of the same.

  • Pamby50

    I agree with this article. Unfortuately with the republicans in congress this will be impossible. You just have to listen to how these confirmation hearings are going and you can tell. They are estatic that the GDP shrunk. They believe that if the economy shrinks, they win. How unpatriotic is that. To be happy that the country is doing bad. I just wish that Harry Reid had the courage to do filibuster reform. That would have made things easier for the President to get people in cabinet posts and spending bills passed.

  • Canistercook

    Used to be we encouraged people to work hard and get rich, Many did and we all did wel. Now we resent them and say give us your money to pay for ‘government’.. In the old says they invested their money, now the government takes their money and redistributes it!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Sure there are some lazy people out there, but the biggest problem today is that the opportunities are just not out there. Despite what you think, most of the people on welfare are there because the GOP is stalling on passing Obama’s jobs bills which would create jobs and because nitwit GOP legislators in red states cut spending and state services so fast that there are now millions of Republicans on the governments welfare rolls. Morte than 70% of food stamp users come from Red states and 8 red states lead the nation in sucking welfare money from Washington. But it’s not because the people there are not industrious, it’s because the GOP state and federal reps/senators are holding the coountry hostage for no other reason than to impose their failed ideologies on everyone.
      And if you don’t think their ideologies are a recipe for failure – just look back at the late 1920s/early 1930s and the abysmal record of 2001 to 2009 and the fact that every GOP president since Ike has governed with significant deficit spending. And just look at Europe which is in a severe double-dip recession because they implemented a lot of the GOP’s failed policies.

      • Canistercook

        I think they just replaced a labor government in U.K. that went to war with us! You sure buy into left wing statistics. Do you know how many minorities live in red states and are on federal welfare and food stamps? A heck of a lot! What Obama Jobs bill did the GOP stall on – more overpaid government workers for the IRS? Guess for you the size of the deficit is not important. We are spending our way into inflation and poverty and you voted for it.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

          You’re right. At the moment I’m not concerned about the size of the defict. As a percent of GDP, our debt to GDP ratio is around 67%, whereas virtually every other similarly industrialized country on the planet runs a ratio of 80% or higher; even Canada’s is over 85 % and Japans is around 100%. And for your info, the reason 8 red states in the south suck the most tax dollars isn’t because of minorities, it’s because nitwit GOP legislators cut budgets and state services so fast that they threw millions of hard working Republicans onto welfare because they lost their jobs; or lost some state funding that they were getting which kept them off welfare. And if you want to see the jobs bill that the GOP is stalling on, go to Whitehouse dot gov, and bring up The American Jobs Bill that outlines objectives that would create millions of new jobs rebuilding America, giving companies tax breaks for hiring veterans and bring jobs back from overseas, etc etc.

          • Canistercook

            Just wish what you state really existed. Unfortunately it doesn’t and we are looking to inflation and devaluation of our dollar. Too many lawyers, real estate salesmen, money managers and government check receivers and too few productive workers. Ask yourself why we don’t get figures from government of the real totals.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

      canistercook, it’s that type of thinking that got us into this mess. Americans invest in America with what? TAXES. It is insurance that keeps our freedoms intact and to ensure that we are taken care of in our times of need. You’re probably one heart attack away from needing your government. YOU LIVE IN A GOVERNMENT. A CIVILIZATION, remember. You render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. In turn, Caesar takes care of you. Stop paying taxes and see what will happen to you. Your government has a social contract with you to take care of you because you pay for it. Everyone in America has had a job at one time or another. If they didn’t pay for taxes from their wages, they pay taxes every time they belly up to a check-out counter. We pay taxes every minute of our lives, not just in America, but every people in whatever government they live in all around the world. I don’t care where you go, you will be taxed. Why not be taxed by you own government where you live and is proud (doubtful in your case) to call HOME. As old as you are, if you haven’t gotten that yet, shame on you.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

        Robert, what most Americans don’t understand is that we pay lower taxes than the citizens of any other similarly industrialized nation on the planet. and, that the taxes we pay today are at the lowest levels in the past 60 years – and that includes tax revenues as a percent of GDP.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

          100%, independent1.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GGHNYPK4GNCRYZLXWVZ447WHJM Plznnn

    OMG, did I actually hear this right? Even MORE stimulus money, when Obama wasted over a Trillion on stimulus while unelployment remains at a steady 8% or so for 45 striight months? If thowing more money and DEBT at the bad economy worked, why not spen a Zillion then? Where is THIS new money going to come from, more taxes on the middle class? The wealthy already got a hefty increase, and guess what, there ain’t enough money you can raise in taxes anymore to solve this mess. The answer: CUT SPENDING already.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Nobody wasted a trillion on stimulus – without the stimulus, you’d be in a breadline right now. The stimulus kept the GOP from creating its second world-wide depression. More than 90% of the stimulus monies went to creating jobs – the reason the unemployment rate hasn’t come down faster is for two reasons: corporate pirating companies like Bain buying out unsuspecting companies, stealing their assets and shipping jobs overseas almost as fast as the stimulus could create new jobs. And secondly, because of the nitwit GOP state legislators that did the most stupid thing during a recession: severe budget cuts that decreased state services and threw millions of red state (republicans) onto the job market and also welfare. Sure, these red states think they’re just great because they’ve balanced their budgets, but at what cost??? Millions of their state residents on welfare: more than 70% of food stamp users are in red states and 8 red states lead the nation in sucking welfare money from Washington – a number of them getting more than $2 back in welfare for every tax dollar they pay. It’s 8 blue states that are basically supporting the country – these states pay the most taxes and get the least welfare monies back – several of them get less than 75 cents back in government monies than they send to Washington – along with the lowest percentage of people on welfare.

      And just for your feeble mind to understand: Obama has not been throwing money at the economy: He’s actually cut the 1.6 trillion budget Bush threw in his lap down to 1.1 trillion in 3 years. And in case you’re not aware, that’s the fastest than any president has cut spending since WWII. And Obama has cut spending for 3 straight years for the first time since Truman did that after WWII. So it’s not CUT SPENDING ALREADY!!! It’s GOP, stop being obstructionists and pass Obama’s jobs plan so we can get the economy reved up again. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET THE DEFICIT DOWN UNLESSL THE ECONOMY REVS UP AND MILLIONS MORE JOBS ARE CREATED. BUDGET CUTS WON’T SOLVE ANYTHING EXCEPT TO THROW AMERICA BACK INTO RECESSLION JUST LIKE EUROPE!!! WAKE UP DUMMY!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jerry.beck.9659 Jerry Beck

    read at least some of the comments

  • quasm

    Mr. Woolner;

    You should read “The Forgotten Man” by Amity Schlaes. ( I’m not sure of the spelling of her last name.) Pres. Obama needs to look at what Pres. Roosevelt did and do something different.

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

    What America is going through isn’t like what America went through in the Great Depression,, but it is as close as any could be. At the time, there wasn’t any of the safety nets in place that we have that could lessen a fall. In the Great Depression, Americans fell hard. But, that is when the greatness called America was born. We pulled together and looked out for one another. We took personal responsibility for one another. Many of the safety nets we take for granted now were given birth back then .Ironically, the Great Depression was started by the same people, the same mind set, the same representation of the wealthy that the present day near-depression was started by: the Republican Party, the GOP, the Grand Ol’ Pah-tay! Getting out of this slump was hard but we are on our way. The Obama/Biden administration should take their Jobs Bill and preseny it to the American people to see for themselves what the Republican/Tea Party has been sitting on since 2010. It is jobs that will get America up and running, the American people earning their keep and paying their fair share. Forcing that 1% to pay their fair share. When America begins to work and earn, we should uncover these corporations, industries, and businesses who are outsourcing for their bottom line and treat them like they have treated us, like shit. We should refuse to do business with them or have any association with them until we see MADE IN AMERICA on labels again. We invest in America because we are Americans. Why can’t they.

  • mavilasr

    The Tea Party Republican penchant for short term solutions can only weaken our economy due to the uncertainty it creates. They are obviously beholden to their lobbyists including the money making machine of NRA. The majority of the voting population are left in limbo while the extremist Tea Party Republican fight to protect the very rich. Elections cannot be won with the minority of votes. I strongly believe that our Representatives are put in office because we all felt they are qualified and have our collective interest in mind. These Extremist Tea Party Republicans have not learned a lesson from the 2012 election. They are out of touch with reality.

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